Talk:Hittite language

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Hittite š[edit]

If the article is correct and the phoneme /s/ is meant here, what possible reason could there be for not transcribing the sound with a simple "s"? Simply as an homage to the initial Czech researcher? It certainly causes needless ambiguities and people writing inappropriate "sh"s - eg, "Hattusha(sh)" and "Kanesh." -LlywelynII (talk) 12:49, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

The original reason is that the Akkadian series denoted with ⟨š⟩ was exclusively used by scribes to write in Hittite, not the series denoted with ⟨s⟩. Tradition and habit do play a role; dropping the diacritic doesn't do harm and is often done, just like ⟨ḫ⟩ is often notated simply as ⟨h⟩; in context, the meaning is clear, of course. However, you need to keep in mind that the pronunciation of the Hittite sibilant is not known precisely, and a case can be made (and has been made) that it was pronounced like a "shibilant", or like a retracted sibilant, which could have influenced the choice of the Hittite scribes. So the transcription ⟨š⟩ and even the spelling with ⟨sh⟩ may be unnecessary, but isn't necessary wrong. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:21, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

Hittite placenames[edit]

Two questions:
1) If URU is simply a nonverbalized indication that a place is being discussed, what possible reason could there be for its inclusion where such a distinction is obvious - for example, in the native language transcription of Hattusa?
2) Regardless of whether Hittite conjugations were mentioned in the cuneiform, it's still believed they used them and we understand them. Why are they consistently omitted - again, for example, Hattusa, which would presumably have been Hattusas to the Hittites themselves? -LlywelynII (talk) 12:49, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Hatti Kingdom and(still disputed)[edit]

This needs a clearifing, As far as i know Hattusa as a kingdom have been recorded many times in Hittite state archives and also many Stele have been found (like one of Mursili I) in Hattusa, on Land of Hatti.

What can be the dispution among scholars while archeological evidence is indisputable about existance? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:53, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

The existence of the hatti(hattusa) kingdom is not seriously disputed. The issue is whether the hatti and the hittite were the same peoples. Currently the general consensus is that the hittites were invaders(possibly peaceful or violent) and eventually became dominant in the area after the hatti were absorbed/killed/exiled(not likely).

And there is rarely such a thing as indisputable evidence. Evidence must always be interpreted according to a framework. You would do well to remember that in your career. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:26, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


The Hittite verb "suwaiemi" seems to mean "I fill". Experts are welcome to correct me. Three boxes are blank, referring to the verb. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 4 June 2010 (UTC) The Infinitive, Participle and Supine boxes are empty. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:05, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

Is Hittite language Indo-European!?[edit]

A language being Indo-European does not mean much since there are NO sharply defined independant language families.

Please see below:

Humanbyrace (talk) 19:16, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

It means a lot if you are an indo-europeanist and trying to reconstruct the root language the various members of the family derive from. I suspect most people who take anything more than a superficial interest in Hittite are indo-europeanists trying to do that. Otherwise, I'm not getting your point. Are you proposing a change to the article? Or are you trying to use this talk page like any random internet discussion forum? Ekwos (talk) 04:05, 27 November 2010 (UTC)


This para confuses singulars and plurals and thus conceals which laryngeals are really meant in the different sentences. HJJHolm (talk) 08:03, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

article definitely needs some work on the disappearance of Hittite as a language[edit]

We need reasons (the Phrygian invasions, the "sea peoples," Assyrian military actions) and some description of the decline and gradual extinction of the language. I can approach it from a historical basis but a linguist should provide the material about the technical disappearance of Hittite. If someone's watching this page with the expertise, please respond? Thank you. HammerFilmFan (talk) 15:46, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

On a different note, I found this at another historical site: The Hittite kingdom, or at least its core region, was apparently called Hatti in the reconstructed Hittite language. However, the Hittites should be distinguished from the "Hattians," an earlier people who inhabited the same region until the beginning of the second millennium B.C.E., and spoke a non-Indo-European language conventionally called Hattic. To me this would seem to conflict with a statement in the article (which badly needs citations throughout.) HammerFilmFan (talk) 16:17, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

The use of the word 'preserve'[edit]

How can Hittite 'preserve' any linguistic feature, etc. if Hittite is EXTINCT?

By virtue of being recorded in written texts, duh. When your goal is linguistic reconstruction, you don't care if your data comes from a language or language stage which is still spoken; typically, it comes from older stages of living languages or completely extinct languages. I'm pretty sure this way of phrasing it is not unique to historical linguistics, but can be found in history, anthropology, ethnology, archaeology and biology as well. Technical jargon won't always please pedants (like when linguists casually anthropomorphise languages). --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:54, 24 July 2016 (UTC)


Ignace Gelb's 3-volume work on Hittite and the hieroglyphic monuments are available at University of Chicago. (talk) 13:59, 15 October 2015 (UTC)

Athematic vs thematic inflection[edit]

Does Hittite have this distinction in any meaningful way? The example inflection for nouns appears to be thematic from a PIE point of view, but I would expect the more archaic type (athematic) to be more widely represented in Hittite. CodeCat (talk) 22:33, 31 March 2016 (UTC)

Oldest securely dated Hittite text[edit]

I've just found this paper, which on pp. 26 and 30 mentions a letter written by Hattusili I, described as the only Old Hittite composition which "can be proven to be a true and legally authentic original written when it was first issued". This letter dates to the middle or later 17th century BC (according to the middle chronology at least). The Anitta text should probably not be named as the earliest text as the oldest preserved copy dates only to the 16th century, and its original version may have been written in Akkadian. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 17:40, 24 July 2016 (UTC)

This source can certainly be added, but there are in fact several Hittite inscriptions from Anitta who was some decades before Hattusili, the Anitta text is the longest, so he should still be mentioned. Philip Mexico (talk) 20:11, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Actually, no, there aren't any Hittite texts from Anitta (what do you even mean by that?), let alone inscriptions. That's the whole point of the source. Apart from the Hattusili I letter, as well as the axe inscription and a number of charters from the 16th century, all securely dated authentic original texts are dated later than 1500 BC (i. e., from after the Old Hittite period). That doesn't mean that Hittite wasn't written in the 17th and 16th centuries, it was, it's just that no other securely dated originals are preserved from that time (Old Hittite texts are generally preserved only in the form of copies from the New Hittite period). That also logically means there are simply no known samples of connected Hittite texts from Anitta's reign in the 18th century; it is even uncertain if there was already a written tradition of Hittite at the time or (more likely even, as far as I can see) texts at the time were simply written in Akkadian. The Hattusili I letter, interestingly, doesn't show the ductus typical of later Hittite documents yet, either. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 21:38, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
Your source is sloppy then, for there is also an inscribed dagger with Anitta's name on it pictured in his article. There is no reason to assume texts were all written in Akkadian just because one dubious source makes such a bold claim. You can certainly find other scholars willing to assume Anitta might have used Hittite so the argument to suppress all mention of Anitta's name entirely from the article without explaining the full situation as various other scholars see it, seems extreme. This is still a well known text in Hittitology and the article topic Hittite language so surely it deserves some discussion here. Philip Mexico (talk) 00:03, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Where's the inscription? I can't see anything in the picture. I haven't said "texts were all written in Akkadian" (what do you even mean by that? when? where? by whom?), nor have I called for "suppress[ing] all mention of Anitta's name entirely from the article" yadda yadda (care to tone down the hyperbole and strawmen a bit perhaps?). I said that Hittite may not have been written at all yet by the time of Anitta. If you insist that there are inscriptions in Hittite dating to Anitta's reign, just show me the freaking evidence and not just a blurry photo you can't recognise anything on. No source I've seen makes such a bold claim; the earliest they are willing to go is the 17th century, when the Hittite Old Kingdom starts. Anitta's reign preceded it. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 01:15, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

What happened to "assume good faith"? All the scholars say the dagger has an inscription, for a wikipedian to challenge this because they cannot see it in the image is OR argument. The Anitta Text is demonstrably and indisputably a key text for Hittitology and thus deserves some mention here in some form, that's all I'm saying. Do you disagree that Anitta text is demonstrably and indisputably a key text for Hittitology? Philip Mexico (talk) 13:13, 25 July 2016 (UTC)